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Is he a master of spectacular trickery or is he something more?

Did you actually, really escape?
I mean, death, right?
Did you escape death, Mister Miracle?
...
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Mister Miracle is a 12-issue miniseries by Tom King (The Vision (2015) and Batman (Rebirth)) and Mitch Gerads as a part of the DC Rebirth initiative.

Darkseid is.

This is a tale of Scott Free, better known as Mister Miracle: escape artist extraordinaire. He has everything any other man in his position could ask for: a gorgeous (and badass) wife in the form of Big Barda, fame, the title of a superhero! ...So why does he feel empty?

Darkseid is.

To that end, he decides to escape the one thing no one else has ever attempted to escape before: Death itself!

...But that might be easier said than done, even for the likes of the greatest escape artist...

Darkseid is.


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Tropes include:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Highfather, who is frequently referred to as being God, handed Scott over to Darkseid when he was a baby, and let's just say his life on Apokolips was...less than pleasant. Though whether he didn't care about Scott or was genuinely distraught by surrendering his son to the worst place in the universe isn't clear yet. In Scott's mind at least, Highfather was a shitty dad whose godhood overshadowed whatever humanity he could've had.
    • Granny Goodness, who raised both Scott and Big Barda, was horribly, horrendously abusive to the two of them, both physically and mentally, despite being secretly a mole for Highfather. Disturbingly, Scott appears to still harbor some affection for her, despite all the horrible things she's done to him.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Granny Goodness, normally Darkseid's most insidious and loyal lieutenant, is revealed to have been a mole for Highfather for years, and warns Scott of Orion's attempt to get him killed, before being killed by Big Barda.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
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    • Orion, normally The Hero of the New Gods mythos, is here an abusive, fascistic Jerkass, to the point that Scott suspects that he purposely instigated the war with Darkseid for power. Not to mention Orion's sudden acceptance of being Darkseid's son despite his entire character being his attempts to never turn out like his father.
    • Scott and Barda seems to be oddly okay with torture and violence such as their mutual ambivalence towards Granny Goodness starving and torturing their fellow New Genesis general Stormforge in front of them. Later when Orion sentences Scott to death, Scott and Barda seem to have little issue with brutally murdering New Genesis guards to confront him.
    • Lightray likewise is The Dragon to Orion, and is shown having no problems with killing Forager when he speaks against Orion.
    • Issue #5 gives Funky Flashman this treatment as well, turning his normal Large Ham persona into someone who is happily willing to turn Scott's execution into a spectacle.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Orion doesn't do any of the actual fighting against Apokolips and when he pushes Scott just a little too far, he's easily bloodied and beaten.
    • Scott himself gets beaten rather easily by Kanto in singular combat when he needs to replace Barda in the fight who is at an appointment. This is actually in line with the original series by Jack Kirby where Kanto beat Scott in combat.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The birth of Jacob Free was full of this, as the monitor observing the baby suddenly stopped beeping for a moment (thankfully, a small change in position fixed it) and the baby came out with the umbilical chord wrapped around its neck, preventing it from breathing or crying.
    • Darkseid offers to give up the Anti-Life Equation and end the war between Apokolips and New Genesis...if Scott hands over his infant son to him.
      Scott: What?
  • Affably Evil:
    • Granny Goodness is bizarrely nice towards Scott and Barda and even makes them Jell-O...but then you see Stormforge chained up.
    Scott: That's...Stormforge? He was...is that him?
    Granny: Yes, dear, he led one of your armies against me. I'm starving him to death. But I like to have him watch others eat. It's so silly. Oh my, I hope that doesn't bother you. Does it?
    • Kanto is pretty polite and friendly with Scott, casually speaking to him about a false relationship he had with Leonardo Da Vinci while they take a piss together. This is especially since Kanto kicked the shit out of him in the previous issue.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite antagonising Scott and Barda for the entire first half, it's genuinely sad when Orion is found dead at his father's hands.
    • Despite never having been ever portrayed as sympathetic, the death of Granny Goodness at the hands of Barda is portrayed as more sad than anything especially after Orion desecrates her corpse by cutting her head off.
  • Always Someone Better: It's clear that Kalibak has some issues with the fact that he's obviously not Darkseid's favorite son in spite of his loyalty.
    • In a call back to the original Kirby series, Scott is still outmatched in combat skill by Kanto.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Forager accuses Orion of doing this, sending millions of bugs and thousands of normal soldiers to die against Darkseid's forces for the sake of minimizing god casualties. Scott himself is shocked that 250,000 troops have died, but Orion is more concerned with losing seven of their fellow Gods.
  • Analogy Backfire:
    Mad Harriet: You’re Scott Free! You’re gonna be! As dead as a tree!
    Lashina: Trees aren’t dead, you stupid #$%@.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Before he leaves Jake with Darkseid, Scott is allowed a moment to tell his son how much he loves him, in spite of knowing that at his age he most likely won't remember it.
  • Answers to the Name of God: Although all of the characters are gods in their own right when they are talking about God, with a big G, Darkseid is the one being discussed. Otherwise, God is often applied to Highfather due to Darkseid being a Satanic Archetype.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Scott is already considered to be one for the concept of freedom. But this series proposes that he's become one for the Anti-Life Equation itself.
  • Anti-Climax: Invoked. Mister Miracle goes to confront Orion about everything that's happened and things are set up for a battle between the two. He walks into the throne room and finds Orion dead and Darkseid is standing over the body.
  • Anyone Can Die: Pretty much anyone bar Scott and Barda. Issue 1 reveals Oberon died prior to the series and that Highfather was killed offscreen by Darkseid. Issue 2 sees Barda killing Granny Goodness and Issue 3 sees Lightray killing Forager for speaking against Orion. Issue 5 ends with Barda killing Funky Flashman and Issue 6 ends with Orion lying dead before his throne, and Darkseid is standing over his body. Issue 8 begins with Scott assassinating Vermin Vunderbar. As Scott walks through the palace in Apokolips, the severed head of Big Bear from the Forever People is mounted on a pike. And finally, in issue 11 Darkseid is killed at Scott’s hand.
  • Arc Symbol: Scott and Barda's veggie tray, (no, seriously) shows up at two very critical moments, during Scott's trial and his final meeting with Darkseid.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The series deliberately features all the characters in Jack Kirby's outrageous campy, colorful original costumes as a contrast to the dark and frequently disturbing mood.
  • Asshole Victim: Subverted with Orion. For all the shit and grief he gives Scott throughout the series, Scott is genuinely upset and horrified to find him dead.
  • Arc Words: For the series in general: "Darkseid is.", "He's not my brother", "I drew God."/"The face of God", and "Escape."
    • Issue 1 has "Stand! Standing."
    • Issue 2 has "For New Genesis!" and "You are not to see the face of God."
    • Issue 3 has "Have you seen the face of God?"/"This is the face of God."
    • Issue 4 has "True" and "I don't know."
    • Issue 6 has "I saw the face of God."
    • Issue 8 has the "Going to Buy You A Mockingbird" song.
    • Issue 10 has "the meaning of life."
    • Issue 11 brings back "Stand." "Standing."
  • Art Shift: When Metron gives Scott and Barda a glimpse of the real DCU, everything is drawn in a much brighter, more fluid art style, providing a shocking contrast to the stilted and creepy look the series crafted for itself.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Discussed when Scott and Barda talk what to name their baby. Scott proposes a bunch of crazy, godly names like Ironbreaker and Starrazer, all of which Barda rejects. Subverted when they settle on Jacob.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A particularly warped and tragic example; its hinted that despite his claims to the contrary, Mister Miracle really does love Orion as a brother, as when Orion dies, Scott is legitimately horrified and grief stricken.
  • Back from the Dead: Despite Big Barda killing him in Issue 5, Funky Flashman is alive and well in Issue 8, serving as the nanny for Baby Jacob. No one comments on this or acknowledges it in any way.
  • Badass Boast: Darkseid has an understated, but horrifically effective one at the end of issue 6:
    "Darkseid does not do. Darkseid is."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Highfather tells Scott in the first issue that Darkseid has achieved his goal: he's obtained the Anti-Life Equation, which is heavily implied to be what's screwing around with Scott's reality.
  • Bathos:
    • Due to being more accustomed to Earth culture and dialects, Scott's responses to the other New Gods' flowery way of speaking results in some amusing reactions to serious moments.
    Lightray: General Free! It is now declared that you are an agent of Darkseid! An enemy of the proud and free people of New Genesis!
    Scott:...I'm going to go get some coffee.
    • After prodding Scott, Orion is suddenly sucker-punched in the face by him. This act of violence is such a case of O.O.C. Is Serious Business that even Orion is shocked by the attack...then he grabs a carrot from Scott and Barda's veggie tray and eats it.
    • Later in issue 11, Darkseid also eats a carrot from a veggie tray just before the big final battle. And then, Mister Miracle does it to when Metron arrives to explain everything.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Scott grows one while recovering in hospital after attempting suicide that he has for the series from that point onwards.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Usually averted.
    • Barda's armor gets gunged up in battle a few times, and in issue #11 she herself gets brutally beaten up by Darkseid.
    • Granny Goodness's death is very messy.
    • Jacob's birth is graphic and almost clinical, with no sugarcoating of what the process is like.
  • Big "NO!": Scott lets one out when he finds Orion dead.
  • Black Comedy: A lot. Grandiose Jack Kirby narration plays over horrific scenes like Big Barda bludgeoning Granny Goodness to death and Mister Miracle has some hilariously subdued reactions to the things happening to him, like asking that his treason trial be held in his house because he's got a package coming that he doesn't want to leave on the doorstep. At one point, Scott relates an absolutely horrific story Granny Goodness related to him when he was a child about a boy who accidentally got his whole family sent to the concentration camps, concluding with "And then she'd say, 'Merry Christmas.'"
  • Blatant Lies: Mister Miracle claims that him slitting his wrists was just part of his lastest trick/adventure and that he was trying to "escape" death itself. It's pretty obvious that there's more to it than that and that everyone else is just humoring him when they agree.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Than the original New Gods comics, by a massive degree.
  • Body Horror: During the fight in issue 6, Mister Miracle is swallowed by a large aquatic dragon. He escapes by ripping his way out through the back of its neck. Then Barda uses its entrails as a makeshift bridge to cross a chasm.
    • On Issue #9, Scott sees himself (and Barda) as a flayed, disfigured near corpse when reflected on the "Mirror of Goodness", an artifact of Granny that shows every single bit of physical damage one has ever suffered.
    Barda: After every corrective surgery. Every skin graft. Every laser removal of whatever she'd done to make us look. And she'd said the same thing.
    Scott: "On the outside you are beautiful..."
    Barda: "And on the inside... You are mine."
  • Boring, but Practical: Orion allows Scott to choose where he will have his trial. Scott chooses his living room. Despite Lightray's irritation, Orion agrees that it suits the purpose just fine.
  • Bottle Episode: Issue #7 is entirely about the lead-in to the birth of Scott and Barda's son. Outside of the beginning and a few cuts to the waiting room, the story in set entirely in a single room.
  • Breather Episode: Issue #5 is mostly just Scott and Barda spending some time together. Until the ending, anyway.
  • Brick Joke: Issue #1 sees Scott getting the shit kicked out of him and being ordered to stand, to which he'll respond with "Standing." Issue #4 has Scott ask Orion if he should sit or stand. Orion orders him to do the former, and Scott complies.
    Orion: Sit.
    Scott: Sitting.
    Orion: Good.
  • Broad Strokes: So far, it's not made clear how this series fits into the DC Rebirth timeline (Mister Miracle was reintroduced during the New 52 event Darkseid War, which ended with Barda separating from him, and has most recently reappeared in a cameo in Dark Nights: Metal), the setting established in The Multiversity (Scott and Barda are shown to reside on Earth 51, where all of Jack Kirby's DC creations now live), or the reality-bending Götterdämmerung of Final Crisis, which was vaguely hinted as still being in canon (due to Grant Morrison's Batman, which continued into the New 52, needing Final Crisis to remain intact to make sense). As far as the series seems to be concerned, it takes place in an ambiguous version of the pre-Final Crisis DC Universe. There's implied to be a reason for this weird distillation.
  • Brutal Honesty: The Female Furies are peaceable with Scott while Barda is giving birth, but also very blunt about the fact that this truce is temporary; they’re still planning to kill Scott the next chance they get.
  • Butt-Monkey: Lightray. Throughout the series he gets the crap kicked out of him numerous times and is constantly disrespected, and that's just by his allies.
    Lightray: You Apokolips scum! You killed Orion! My friend! My lord! My savior! I will burn all of you! I will laugh as I watch your ashes float away in a mild wind!
    Barda: Oh, shut the @$%# up, Lightray.
  • Call-Back: War has broken out between New Genesis and Apokolips, leading to Orion being killed by Darkseid. Again.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    Barda: You...bastard.
    Darkseid is.
    Darkseid: Yes. I am.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The entirety of Issue 6 is Scott and Barda fighting their way to Orion's throne room...while discussing redecorations to their condo. It's actually Barda's way of gently breaking the news to Scott that she's pregnant.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The veggie trays that Scott and Barda enjoy return in Issue 11 as a hiding place for Scott's knife.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Barda is repeatedly mentioned as having brewed bonewine - an alcoholic drink made from dead gods - during her time on Apokolips. She later uses her skills to make a blade out of Orion’s bones, which Mister Miracle uses to kill Darkseid.
    • The veggie tray that Scott and Barda prepared is used to hide that same bone-blade.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Metron briefly appears in a vision early on, seemingly trying to warn Scott about something. He promptly disappears and is never mentioned again... until issue 11, where he appears to finally explain what’s been going on.
  • The Chosen One: Granny implies that Scott is a candidate to fulfill the prophecy of one of Darkseid's sons ultimately slaying the wrathful god even though he isn't one of his biological offspring.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mister Miracle goes into an insane screaming fit of curses as he stabs Darkseid to death. Barda immediately complains about him swearing in front of Jacob.
  • The Comically Serious: Darkseid is. Just like Orion, he grabs a bite from Scott and Barda's veggie tray and also allows Jacob to grab his nose.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The way Oberon is drawn strongly resembles Danny DeVito.
  • Continuity Nod: The gun Barda first uses against Darkseid uses energy from the Miracle Machine from Final Crisis.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Reimagines the world of the New Gods as this, with even the "good" ones - like Highfather and Orion - being arrogant and merciless beings who either look down on the mortal world or whose motives are impossible to understand. Darkseid is depicted as less of an evil god-king and more as something much worse, a force of pure evil impossible to escape or resist that toys with the universe and kills thousands if not millions of innocents not out of sadism, but simply because he has the power to do so.
  • Covers Always Lie: And so do synopses apparently, since the cover to Issue 7 shows the Furies holding Scott's mask and Barda's helmet in victory and the plot summary states that the Furies are hunting them. The actual issues shows the Furies calling a temporary truce with Scott and Barda so the latter can give birth to her child without fuss.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • While giving his handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Scott catches sight of Jack Kirby's (fictional) handprints nearby.
    • The first page of Issue 12 features, among the audience, Tom King, Dan Didio, Jim Lee, Mitch Gerads and a slew of others.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Tom King continues to use the 9-panel layout he's been utilizing in his run on Batman.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: In the form of bondage sex between Scott and Barda. No, really.
  • Curbstomp Battle: What Scott's "fight" with Kanto in Issue 8 amounts to.
  • Darker and Edgier: Far, far darker than most DC material. Some scenes wouldn't be out of place in early Vertigo works.
  • Dead All Along: Turns out Scott's mentor, Oberon, passed on months before the events of Issue 1. ...So how did Scott have a conversation with him?
    • The ending is basically Scott succumbing to his suicide attempt at the start of the book, but deciding to make the best of it in the Omega Sanction.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Funky Flashman attempts to invoke this by suggesting that New Genesis set Scott's execution up as second, successful suicide attempt. He tells this to Scott's face.
  • Decompressed Comic: A necessity for a comic that strictly adheres to telling the story through nine panels every page.
  • Deconstruction: Most of which are emphasizing the fact that the heroic Mister Miracle was a child who was raised on Apokolips. Other renditions don't show it much, but Scott has reasonable resentment towards his biological father for giving him to the hellhole Apokolips to be raised by the abusive Granny Goodness. Not only that, but giving him up before Scott can even have a real name, leaving him to go by a cruel nickname Granny gave him and the stage name of someone else whose life he's adopted. And while he tries his best to stay normal, Scott is shown to be fully capable of becoming a psychotic killer thanks to his traumatic childhood in Granny's hands. There's also him retaining some of the Chaotic Evil mindset that Darkseid's minions have in the form of being a Nightmare Fetishist; he takes some pleasure in listening to people being tortured.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Orion lasts dies in Issue 6. Darkseid is Scott's true enemy.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In issue 11, Darkseid is killed by Mister Miracle using a blade made from Orion’s bones.
  • Disney Death: Funky Flashman is killed by Big Barda, one or two issues later he's alive and well, and the "nanny" to her baby. This is never explained or commented on by anyone.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Orion and Lightray seem to not really hold back on punishments. For instance, Forager is violently killed by Lightray for not thinking Orion is doing a good job.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The panels of the comic become jagged and interlaced with static distortions shortly before or during bizarre happenings or incongruities in the story such as Barda's eyes changing colour.
  • Dream Apocalypse: Subverted. Scott decides to live out his life in the now Darkseid-free Omega Sanction because escaping from it will erase his children from existence.
  • Driven to Suicide: The series opens to Scott having just slit his wrists. He attempts to pass it off as an attempt to "escape death", but it's clear that there is much more to it.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Scott goes out drinking with Ted Kord and Booster Gold before what is to be the last birthday party Jacob will ever have.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Darkseid is depicted as one here, an incomprehensibly powerful and merciless alien deity who destroys entire worlds as he sees fit and whose supreme power is matched only by his merciless cruelty.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Seeing Scott Free with bloodied, slit wrists in the very first three pages oughtta tell you what kind of book you're in for.
  • Expy: Oberon and Jacob Free for Jack Kirby, Funky Flashman for Stan Lee, and Metron for DC Comics.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Female Furies genuinely care for Big Barda, and when she goes into labor, they’re present at the hospital to provide support.
  • Eye Scream: Darkseid relinquishes the Anti-Life Equation by tearing out his own eye, since he can’t use the equation without the Omega Beams. Shortly after, Scott jabs his Orion-Blade through the empty eye socket to kill him.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Mister Miracle tries to do this. He spends the last day prior to his execution just having a happy time with his wife and than quietly prepares to go to New Genesis to be killed. Fortunately for him, Barda intervenes.
  • Fantastic Racism: Forager claims that Orion is indulging in this. According to him, millions of bugs are getting thrown into the frontlines to act as glorified shields for the gods. He further claims that when the bugs sent their queen to talk with Orion about it, he responded by executing her.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Kalibak tries his damnedest to be as civilized and diplomatic as possible, but his natural barbaric temper ultimately breaks through.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The glowing light of Scott's sword hidden inside the veggie tray is visible for a several panels before he uses it.
  • Foregone Conclusion: King's Batman run namedrops Orion in an issue published after his death in this series, confirming that Orion is not only alive in the DCU, but whatever Scott is in isn't canon or permanent.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Darkseid is.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Big Barda kills Funky Flashman and the guards meant to take Scott to his execution while stark naked.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After Scott kills Darkseid while repeatedly screaming "FUCK YOU!", Barda warns Scott that Jacob might follow suit and start swearing as well. Cue
    Jacob: FUUUUG!
  • The Ghost: Darkseid is. Though he casts a huge shadow over the story, so far he hasn't once shown up on-panel. Until Issue 6.
  • A God Am I: Well, they are.
    • "Darkseid is."
    • Scott helpfully reminds us with a coffee mug labelled "I am God."
    • "Dude, I'm a god. I am theology."
  • Good Is Not Soft: Mister Miracle and Big Barda are heroes, but when they have to fight they do not hold back. Some of the most brutal death scenes in the comic happen at their hands.
  • Good vs. Good: As of issue 5, Mister Miracle and Big Barda go to war with Orion and his loyalists, rather than allow Orion to execute Scott. Possibly subverted, as it's becoming increasingly unclear if Orion is actually good or not.
  • Grave Humor: Oberon's tombstone's epitaph: "Get Me Out of Here!"
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Occasionally, as in Issue 2, which opens with nine panels of a parademon eating the entrails out of a corpse.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Kalibak is still Kalibak.
  • Happily Married: Mister Miracle and Big Barda, as usual.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Granny Goodness claims to have been Highfather's spy for a while, and tries to warn Scott of Orion's supposed plan to have him killed for power. She's killed by Barda in a matter of seconds after this revelation.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Stompa shows what a pinnacle of maturity she is when she does this in response to Mad Harriet saying “poo” as part of a rhyme.
  • Heroic BSoD: Scott suffers a massive one after Darkseid kills Orion.
  • History Repeats: Much like Izaya, Scott is forced to trade his son to Apokolips to ensure at least a hiatus to New Genesis' war against them.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Darkseid is. His status as one is played up. When he finally appears, the glitching effects flare up dramatically and violently, as if he's warping reality by simply being present. He's also nearly shrouded in darkness despite being in a brightly lit room.
  • I Choose to Stay: The series ends with Scott deciding to stay in the alternate reality that Darkseid threw him into because leaving it will retcon Jacob.
  • Ironic Echo: Lines of Kirby's narration from the original series are lifted wholesale and blasted into caption boxes when events far less heroic and vindicating are taking place.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Scott and Barda casually drink Bonewine, a drink brewed with the bone marrow of captured and deceased gods.
  • Interface Screw: A rare non-video game example, as VHS-style distortion frequently disrupts the pages at random intervals.
  • Jerkass: Orion's a lot more douchey than usual, isn't he?
  • Kangaroo Court: Mister Miracle's "trial" amounts to this. "In accordance with the laws of the Source", Highfather has to appoint an accuser, defender, and judge for the trial of a god. So Orion appoints himself for all three, with predictable results.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Orion forces Scott and Barda to greet him by kneeling.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Darkseid is.
  • Large Ham: Funky Flashman, more so than usual. Literally every line of dialogue he has is not only yelled, but printed in a bolder font than others.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In what may be the most extreme version of this trope ever produced, Darkseid is killed by Scott with a blade he made from Orion's bones, which they only had access to because Darkseid killed Orion and then left the body for Scott to see.
  • Like a Son to Me: Granny Goodness's behavior towards both Scott and Barda indicates this. She claims that her Heel–Face Turn into The Mole for Highfather is out of concern for Scott's safety, though her sudden death at Barda's hands leaves it up for debate whether or not she was being truthful.
  • Logical Weakness: Barda is so insanely durable that most mortal weapons can’t even break her skin, which becomes a problem when she’s in labor and the possibility that she might need a c-section is brought up. Scott and the doctors end up having to use a knife from Apokolips to cut the baby’s umbilical cord.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Scott referring to his child as a "Lump" seems to indicate that the entire series may thus far have been one of these.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Darkseid is possibly the biological father of Scott and not of Orion, according to Granny Goodness at least.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • "This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God. This is the face of God."
    • Darkseid is.
  • Meaningful Name: King portrays Scott as hating his name, deconstructing it's usage given how he got it. Scott Free wasn't the name that his dad, Highfather, gave him; it wasn't even given to him by Darkseid, but rather by Granny who would mock him for his escape attempts as a child before locking him back up. He's extremely bitter that, even with the times that they had met and spent time together, that his father refused to tell him what his true name was.
    • Invoked later on when Scott and Barda name their son Jacob, in reference to the Jacob’s Ladder that Scott used to escape the X-Pit.
  • Meet Cute: Darkly parodied. Scott offers to play music to remind Barda of the time they first met. Barda notes that their "Meet Cute" moment was accompanied by the dying screams of terrified people on Apokolips. Scott then has his Mother Box play just that.
  • Mercy Kill: It's hinted that Mister Miracle and Big Barda may have done this to Oberon, as he was dying of throat cancer.
  • Messianic Archetype:
    • Scott not only has a Crucified Hero Shot as well as a technical resurrection (recovering from a suicide attempt that is played off as "escaping death"), but is directly referred to by plenty of people as the "Son of God." Whether they're talking about Highfather or Darkseid is up for debate.
    • Orion seems to be this to a degree, as Lightray refers to him as his lord and savior.
  • Mind Screw: Something is definitely wrong with Scott Free's life and the world around him:
    • Early in the first issue, Scott suddenly insists that Barda's brown eyes were actually blue, only for her to gently deny it and assure him he's just misremembering things. They're back to being blue in the final page of the issue.
    • Granny Goodness appears on G. Gordon Godfrey's show...despite having been killed in the previous issue.
    • Funky Flashman is alive again in Issue 8, despite being brutally killed by Barda in Issue 5. Nobody acknowledges this.
    • Also in Issue 8, there's a scene where Scott is wearing a Superman shirt. The "S" crest changes colors between panels. It's not likely that it's a coloring mistake.
  • Misery Builds Character: Orion's ghost is understanding with Scott's decision to stay in a dream world where he's happy, but is disappointed that he's rejected a life of struggle and challenges that makes life worth it in the end. He basically tells Scott that now that his life is nice and easy, he might as well just die.
  • The Mole: Granny Goodness claimed to have switched sides and acted as a spy for Highfather. Her sudden death at the hands of Barda leaves it up for debate whether or not she was telling the truth.
  • Mood Dissonance: The narration in the story has a habit of starkly contrasting with the events they appear in. A prime example is the grandiose Jack Kirby narration in the first issue's first pages, which contrasts the imagery of Scott lying on his bathroom floor in costume, having slit his wrists.
  • Mood Whiplash: Oh so very much of it. The ending of Issue 6 is an especially brutal example.
    • Issue 8 is literally half Scott raising his son, including watching him take his first steps and listening to him say his first word and half Scott leading a very, very, very bloody war on Apokolips.
  • Morality Pet: It's implied that Scott has become this to Granny Goodness, leading her to become Izaya's spy within Darkseid's forces. Scott relates a time when Granny gave him mercy by releasing him early from a torture device and warmly embracing him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The opening and ending narration to each issue is taken from its corresponding issue from Jack Kirby's original Mister Miracle run.
    • Mister Miracle has a poster for one of his performances hanging in his living room; it's the cover of the first issue of Kirby's original Miracle Man comic.
    • Thor's helmet can be seen on the ground during a battle scene in issue 2. This references not only the fact that Jack Kirby helped create that series, but also an obscure bit of trivia about the New Gods mythos; that Kirby dropped some subtle hints that it was actually a Stealth Sequel to his Thor run.
    • Oberon's surname is shown to be Kurtzberg, the original form of Jack Kirby's surname.
    • The name for Scott’s son Jacob is both the birth name of Jack Kirby and a reference to the biblical character who “wrestled with God.”
    • George Perez's artwork of Darkseid appears as a Colossus of Rhodes-style statue on Apokolips.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Scott and Barda are somewhat nostalgic of their time on Apokolips because that's where they met and fell in love. They even play some recorded soundbites of people being tortured there to get them into a romantic mood as they're stuck in traffic.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Someone named Betty stayed over at Scott and Barda's condo and got stabbed by the Stab-O-Tron when she went to get water.
    • Issue 11 has Barda talk about how she and Scott, both wanting to up the ante in Scott's escape acts, have toured the universe in search of the most dangerous objects and weapons just to make their shows more interesting. One of these include the Miracle Machine, which Scott and Barda took energy from to create a weapon to blast Darkseid with.
  • No-Sell: Darkseid is able to shrug off a blast from a gun powered by the Miracle Machine.
  • Not So Above It All: Darkseid is...also very much into Scott and Barda's veggie trays.
  • Not So Stoic: Orion spends most of the story looking totally unfazed by everything happening around him and even when he's angry his expression doesn't change much. But when Mister Miracle loses his shit during the trial and decks Orion, all the latter can do is stare with a shocked, almost terrified look on his face before he composes himself...and eats a carrot.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Darkseid is.
  • Off with His Head!: Granny Goodness gets her head sliced off by Orion. Through the course of nine panels.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Darkseid is content to spend the whole series sitting on his throne and watching things unfold with detached amusement. He only appears in person twice, in issue 6 to kill Orion and issue 11, to die.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The birth of Scott's son, who he refers to as a "lump" (aka the name of a being that is a living Lotus-Eater Machine) may indicate that the whole series is taking place in Scott's head.
  • Painting the Medium: There are various moments where the art suddenly acquires a strange, VHS-style static effect over it. This may or may not represent Mister Miracle's degrading sanity.
    • Funky Flashman's dialogue is always in a slightly bigger, bolder font than others to represent his Large Ham tendencies.
    • Scenes taking place on Apokolips or involve Darkseid himself have black panel borders.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Scott relates to Barda a time when Granny Goodness genuinely comforted him after putting him through another torture device.
    • In issue 7, The Female Furies come to Earth out of concern when Barda goes into labor. Besides verbally threatening Scott, they remain peaceful.
  • Physical God: It's amazingly casual how the New Gods remind us of this fact. Two unnamed, faceless guards discuss theology only for one of them to point out that they are theology.
  • The Power of Hate: Orion insinuates that this is what really motivates Mister Miracle, suggesting that he hates his life and many of the people in it, wanting to escape from it all. His obsession with escaping things, according to Orion, is a subconscious reflection of that.
  • Pregnant Badass: Big Barda, as of issue 6.
  • Prophecy Twist: Darkseid is prophecied to be killed by his own son, which everyone assumes is Orion. However, Granny Goodness casts doubts on this, implying than Scott is, in a way, Darkseid's true son. In Issue #11, Scott kills Darkseid with a Fahren-Knife made of Orion's bones, essentially making both interpretations true.
  • The Quiet One: Darkseid only has two whole lines in the entire series. Most of his messages are relayed through others.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Scott when he finds Orion's bloody corpse.
  • Reality Ensues: Oberon smokes cigars constantly, just like in the original comics. Unlike the original comics, it led to him contracting throat cancer.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Barda gives one to Orion, mocking him for thinking that being the son of Darkseid is what makes him naturally stronger than her and Scott. Unlike the two of them, he wasn't raised on the war hardened Apokolips, but on the mushy, peaceful lands of New Genesis.
    • From Desaad, who is actually Metron:
    Desaad: You are a disappointment, Scott Free. You were given the greatest gift one can receive. You were given pain. Pain makes you steady, strong. Able to conquer. Rule. But what did you do with your pain? Performed. Married. Bred. What a waste. What a pity.
  • Recursive Canon: Besides all the shirts Scott wears that bear the insignia of various superheroes he knows personally, there's enough demand for Batman merchandise for birthday party merch to exist. Jacob's favorite toy is a Batman plushie.
  • Red Herring: Issue 7's mention of The Lump suggests that the reality Scott is stuck in is actually within the entity's mind, as the creature is a living Lotus-Eater Machine. While Scott is indeed in one, it turns out that the Lump has no involvement in what's going on and Scott really is in some sort of alternate reality caused by his suicide.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • The Casual Danger Dialogue in Issue 6 takes on a whole other meaning when you learn at the end that Barda is pregnant.
    • The Reveal of the Lump's involvement puts a lot of things into context.
    • In Issue 11, we see several unattached speech bubbles beginning with "You are a disappointment, Scott Free." It's only on a second read that you recognize Darkseid is not the one saying this - it's Metron.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The comic is always in nine panels; conversations and actions are forced to compensate for the limited space. It's almost as if Scott and the other characters are trapped in their own comic, and it's up to Mister Miracle to help them all escape.
  • Satanic Archetype: Darkseid is. He’s even directly referred to as the Devil by Scott.
  • Secret Test of Character: Issue 11 implies that the entire series may have been one for Scott, and it was Metron observing him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Funky Flashman at one point refers to Scott and Barda as "True Believers" and at one point randomly yells out "Excelsior!"
    • During Mister Miracle's fight with a Parademon in issue 2, a winged helmet similar to Thor's can be seen on the ground. Doubles as a Mythology Gag; see above.
    • Scott and Barda name their newborn son Jacob, after Jacob's ladder, the biblical connection between Earth and Heaven. However, it doubles as a Shout-Out to the Psychological Horror film Jacob's Ladder, which many readers have compared this very series to due to the same amount of unsettling Mind Screw between the two works. The Reveal in that movie may be another indicator that what we're seeing isn't real.
    • Issue 8 makes it known that Jacob is also named after Jack Kirby.
    Funky Flashman: That's my Jack! He's the King!
    • Issue 10 similarly to the above, Funky tells Scott about how he and Jacob have been creating comics together, as well as giving full credit for the story to Jacob while relegating his role to simply "writing the words."
    • The variant cover to the final issue is one to Duck Amuck, with Scott struggling in the exact same pose as Daffy Duck against Darkseid is. The original script for issue one also included one so as to foreshadow what is truly wrong with Scott's reality.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Tom King's The Vision (2015). Both are psychological horror stories about Happily Married superheroes dealing with some Mind Screw-y situations. Word of God from Dan DiDio even confirmed that King was given the go-ahead with this project specifically as DC's follow-up to The Vision.
    • Also arguably qualifies as one to Jacob's Ladder. Scott's son is even directly named after it, and it has a very similar tone, featuring a protagonist returned from war and dealing with domestic drama while suffering from bizarre hallucinations that are implied to be part of his Dying Dream.
  • Status Quo Is God: In spite of Scott's decision to stay in the Omega Sanction and the deaths of several major New Gods, Oberon implicitly assures Scott that someone out there will get him out. Sure enough, Doomsday Clock #9 shows Scott with Barda and the Justice League, strongly hinting that he indeed escaped.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The "face of God" muttered throughout the series is heavily implied to be Darkseid's, which Orion demonstrates by showing Scott his true, disfigured, very Darkseid-y face. This is supported by Scott muttering that he "saw the face of God" after his encounter with Darkseid himself.
  • Super Dickery: Maybe. Given that Mister Miracle is heavily implied to be losing his mind, it's questionable whether Orion and Lightray are really doing the dickish things we see them doing here.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Double subverted. Various superheroes, including Superman himself, apparently visited Scott to lend their support after his suicide attempt. From there, they stay out of the story so far.
  • Surreal Horror: Loads of Black Comedy, Mind Screw, psychological introspection and gruesome violence done in Mitch Gerads' tense, paranoid art style makes for a very unsettling read.
  • Symbol Swearing: All of the profanity harder than "damn" or "Hell" is censored this way, despite all the bloody violence being displayed in full, graphic detail. It's one more thing that makes the comic that much more surreal and unsettling.
  • Talking to the Dead: The book ends with Scott talking to the various characters who have died throughout the story, including Granny, Orion, Forager, Highfather, Oberon, and Darkseid.
  • Take That!:
    • Funky Flashman, who is a Stan Lee Expy, is shown playing with Jacob Free, who he nicknames "Jack." In other words, Stan Lee is being condescending towards Jack Kirby and treating him like a baby instead of with the proper respect he deserves. Eventually subverted when Funky asserts that the story he and Jacob came up together is fully the latter's idea, and chastises Scott for calling his son's story nonsense.
    • The above is also one towards those who see comic books as a childish and lowbrow medium. As silly as they can get, stories like those made by Jack Kirby and others were stories they really wanted to tell to those willing to listen, and that's what truly matters in the end.
    • invoked In the final issue, Scott has a final talk with Oberon and asks if he did the right thing not escaping from the Omega Sanction. Oberon basically tells him that he did, that the real world aka the DC Universe is ridiculously cluttered with its adherence to continuity and its constant Crisis Crossovers, with the actual real world being the one where Scott is Happily Married with children. Note that Jack Kirby originally wanted his Fourth World books to be purely self-contained from the larger DC Universe, but Executive Meddling forced him to include characters like Superman and others into the fray, ultimately leaving Kirby unable to properly finish his magnum opus due to canonizing his characters into the DC continuity. The conversation also ends with an implicit assurance that in spite of the series ending like this, some other writer will eventually free Scott from this reality so he can have more adventures in the DCU.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Issue 1 has a scene where Scott and Oberon are hanging out at their studio. Big Barda walks in saying she's worried because Scott is in the studio by himself. When Scott says he was with Oberon, Barda reminds him that Oberon died of cancer months ago. "Oberon" promptly disappears. This and incidents like it seem to imply that Mister Miracle is losing his mind, bringing into question how much of what we're seeing is real. With Issue 7 namedropping The Lump, it becomes instantly clear what kind of reality we're dealing with.
  • Time Skip: Enough time passes between Issues #6 and #7 for Barda to go from a month or two pregnant to labor.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Scott is noted to be holding on to Oberon's cigar boxes, after the latter died. Barda wants him to get rid of them, feeling that they're just sitting around now.
  • Tranquil Fury: Scott describes Darkseid as "always mad." Remember that Darkseid is not usually one for showing emotions.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Despite Barda killing him in Issue 5, Funky Flashman is, apparently, alive and well in Issue 8, looking none the worse for wear. Somehow.
    • The Metron that appears at the end of Issue 11 is not the same one from Issue 2, but the New 52 version, which was killed during Darkseid War.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Heavily implied to be the case with Scott.
    • Granny Goodness makes serious accusations against Orion with claims of him attempting a Uriah Gambit to get Scott killed, as well as apparently assassinating Highfather himself to gain power over New Genesis. Her death shortly after makes things even more ambiguous. Not helped by Orion's own death later either.
  • Uriah Gambit: Granny Goodness claims that Orion tried this with Mister Miracle and Big Barda. It's not clear yet if she was telling the truth.
  • [Verb] This!: Subverted. Mister Miracle plans to shout “Escape this!” when he kills Darkseid, but when the time comes, he just screams “FUCK YOU!” over and over.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Big Barda. Not only does she beat up or threaten almost anybody who threatens Scott, but in issue 5 she straight up murders Funky Flashman and two New Genesis soldiers to stop them from taking Scott to be executed.
  • Voice of the Legion: Implied by Darkseid's black speech bubbles.
  • War Is Hell: As is the case in Tom King's work. Best depicted in Issue 8, when Scott dumps the body of the dead solidier in a trench full of corpses. There are lot of corpses.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Kalibak is pissed when Scott implies that Darkseid only showed favor to him because he was the only one of his children around.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue 6. Barda is pregnant and Orion is murdered by Darkseid.
    • Issue 7. Barda gives birth to Jacob Free and the nature of what's wrong with Scott's reality is implicitly revealed.
    • Issue 11 tops them all. Scott manages to kill Darkseid and save the day... at which New 52 Metron arrives and reveals to Mister Miracle just what is going on.
  • Wham Line:
    • After their son is born, Scott describes him as a lump. The Wham comes when the ending text teases The Lump, a creature that is a living Lotus-Eater Machine.
    • "Darkseid, humbly, asks only one thing. He asks for the custody of his only grandchild, Jacob Free. He asks that the boy be raised on Apokolips. That he be raised here as the one, true heir to Darkseid."
  • Wham Shot:
    • The sight of Scott Free all bloodied up in his bathroom.
    • Whenever Darkseid is. flashes at a specific point.
    • The close-up on Barda and her blue eyes in the final page of the first issue.
    • When Scott looks and sees that Darkseid is Orion's killer.
    • The two page spread near the end of Issue 11, only because it is the first time since Issue 1 where the comic breaks away from the nine panel grid.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Scott is shocked to discover what appears to be a baby Parademon mourning over the death of what is presumably its parent. When Lightray executes it, Scott lets out a Big "NO!" in protest.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As above, Lightray kills a baby Parademon.
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • After the events of issue 6, Mister Miracle becomes the new leader of New Genesis.
    • After Darkseid's death, Kalibak has taken over as Apokolips's king.

The "Mister Miracle" series will not be continued—
Its new and thrilling successor will soon be on sale!
LOOK FOR IT!
Thank you
-Tom, Mitch, Clayton, Nick, Jamie, and Brittany.

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